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Red Tape Trumps Recycling

September 17, 2007 12:18 pm | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: The full story isn't clear here, but it looks like a government crackdown on the very popular Alameda County Computer Recycling Center. For readers not in the Silicon Valley area, I can personally attest that ACCRC is a well-run, well-supported organization which does a valuable community service. So why would an EPA inspector

HP, Lenovo, Dell Support Solar Power for PCs

September 14, 2007 10:12 am | by Evan Koblentz, online editor | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: Let's start by clarifying a vital point: this story is about solar power adapters for conventional PCs, not about "solar-powered PCs" per se.  You don't actually get a solar panel slapped to the side of your tower case; you get 86 pounds of schleppability.  But you also get to help save the planet and circumvent your local

Paw-Lenty of Energy to Save

September 13, 2007 9:44 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: According to U.S. News & World Report, "Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the new chair of the National Governors Association, was in Washington this week to argue that state governments should be a driving force in reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and in fighting greenhouse


Investors Write Reality Check

September 12, 2007 11:03 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: There's a big dose of clean-energy straight talk over at from physicist and investor Mark Mills. He says there is plenty of room for smart investments into alternative energies, because there wasn't much of a bubble in the first place, nor was there a bubble 30 years ago when many of the same technologies were going to save us from

Still More Far-Fetched Start-Ups

September 12, 2007 10:32 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Products: Human harvesting. Algae pools. Wave power. Artificial tornados. Super kites. Tesla coils. The list reads like a high-tech version of the plagues that freed Moses' people in Egypt, but will these alternative energy concepts succeed or have the proverbial sea crash down on them? "True, many of the kookier-sounding concepts are still in deep development within large corporations, universities, and

US, Chinese Research Addresses Smog

September 7, 2007 7:14 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: "Los Angeles and Pittsburgh provide examples of what to do — and not to do — about China's severe air pollution in the face of surging energy use from rapid economic growth," according to this AP report of U.S. and Chinese scientists' joint research. They added: "The study released Thursday compared the world's two biggest energy consumers

30-Watt, CEC-Compliant Adapter

September 5, 2007 12:45 pm | Phihong | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Phihong USA expanded its adapter line with a 30W version designed for worldwide use. Designated the PSC30R Series, the 30W adapter is available with four interchangeable clip adapter plugs for use in virtually any power outlet around the world. This series of adapters is appropriate for applications involving point-of-sale equipment, test equipment, network equipment and

LED Floodlight, Indoor/Outdoor Bulb Offers Energy Savings

September 5, 2007 12:40 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: LEDtronics’ latest generation of R30 LED Reflector spotlight direct incandescent replacement bulbs combine advanced LED technologies, standard 25 mm Edison bases and light-optimizing designs to produce vivid light. The bulbs are available in five light emitting angles (15°, 20°, 30°, 40° and 95°) and in 120V AC. Other voltages from 12V to 240V AC or DC are available.


Oval, 4 mm and 5 mm Through-Hole Lamps for Indoor/Outdoor Sign Applications

September 5, 2007 12:35 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Avago Technologies announced a new series of Extra Bright II oval Red, Green and Blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) for the electronic signs and signals (ESS) market. The HLMP-Lx63 (4 mm) and HLMP-Hx63 (5 mm) Series of LEDs provide an oval shaped radiation pattern, a wide viewing angle and high illumination intensity to make display characters viewable from

Small, Precision Mass Airflow Sensor Uses MEMS Technology

September 5, 2007 12:23 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Omron Electronic Components announced the availability of the D6F unidirectional MEMS mass flow sensor which uses a thermopile element that converts thermal energy into electrical energy and is capable of measuring mass airflow up to 3 lpm with a ±5 percent full-scale repeatable accuracy. The sensors exhibit very stable output performance across the entire scale.

Wireless Nodes and Battery Modules for Wireless Sensing Network

September 5, 2007 12:09 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Banner Engineering Corp. introduced new FlexPower Nodes for the company’s SureCross Wireless Network. FlexPower allows a SureCross Node to operate using 10V to 30V DC line power, solar panels, or a FlexPower battery module in remote or difficult-to-access locations. A FlexPower Wireless Node and a connected sensor can be powered by a FlexPower battery module for up to five years, depending upon the application and individual power requirements.

DC/DC PWM Buck Converters

September 5, 2007 11:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: The AP1533 from Diodes, Inc. is a 300 Hz, 1.8A asynchronous PWM buck converter with soft-start function, low ripple noise output, low current consumption, high efficiency, and desirable transient characteristics. The buck converter has a wide input voltage range of 4V to 23V, an adjustable output voltage from 0.8V to 23V, and is suited for applications such as LCD monitors, TVs, DVD/PVR players, set-top boxes, xDSL modems, and networking and telecommunications equipment.

USB Power Manager With Power Selection, Battery Charging, Buck Regulators

September 5, 2007 11:55 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Linear Technology’s LTC3557 multi-function power management device for Li-Ion/Polymer battery applications integrates a linear PowerPath manager, a standalone battery charger, ideal diode, three high efficiency synchronous buck regulators and an always-on LDO in a low-profile


Ultrasound Pulser for Non-destructive Testing

September 5, 2007 10:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Productive Product: Supertex introduced the HV739, a single channel, monolithic, high speed ultrasound pulser IC for non-destructive testing (NDT) applications. The IC brings together controller logic interface circuitry, level translators, MOSFET gate drive buffers and high current, high voltage outputs.

Two Far-Fetched Energy Start-Ups

September 4, 2007 11:07 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: What of flying windmills and ultra, ultra, ultra-capacitors? Two such start-ups came to my attention today: SkyWindPower and EEStor (which doesn't have a web site). Both of these plans are real but of questionable science.

Links Revisited: 41 and Counting

August 30, 2007 11:46 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Our second-ever post here in The Efficiency Zone, which came back in March, was a list of other web sites related to energy efficiency and technology. That list is now at 41 suggested resources.

Solar-Powered Outdoor WiFi

August 30, 2007 10:14 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: From the UK's Techworld magazine, "A small US startup has announced technology for running Wi-Fi routers in remote places using only the power of the sun. Among the first round of products from Solis Energy is the Solar Power Plant, touted as being capable of supplying 12, 24 and 48 Volts DC for use in standalone applications such as surveillance cameras and outdoor Wi-Fi."

Help Wanted: CGO

August 27, 2007 6:49 am | Blogs | Comments

Energy News: Does your company have a chief green officer? They do at Sun Microsystems, as explained in this San Jose Mercury News article. Dave Douglas' job involves everything from auditing the green practices of the corporate cafeteria to participating in data center design.

Letters, We've Got Letters...

August 22, 2007 6:22 am | by Evan Koblentz | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed:  To quote Paul Shaffer, "we've got lots and lots of letters" about The Efficiency Zone and my recent editorial in our print edition of ECN. Here are some highlights, surnames edited

Man 2, Machine 0

August 20, 2007 7:44 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Two years ago, while editing a non-ECN technology newsletter, I stumbled onto this headline: "CRM School: A ray of hope for mentally retarded children." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be offended because it sounded so strange. The hyperlink went to an Indian domain, which gave it credibility, but was this a joke, or a tale of some slimy corporation, or what?

Zonbu Mini PC: Boom or Boo-Boo?

August 17, 2007 11:30 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: It’s tough to say exactly what the word “Zonbu” implies. Is it: A., the name of a millionaire’s estate, B. an unpopular central-African republic, C. some kind of vegetarian dessert, or D., just a made-up word because all the good names for a high-tech company are taken?

Wozniak's New Goal is Efficient Housing

August 14, 2007 10:48 am | by Evan Koblentz, online editor | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Apple Inc. co-founder and legendary hacker Steve Wozniak recently found a new passion in energy-efficient housing.  Last month he told PC World magazine, "I have a long dream to build my own house in a very energy-efficient approach," and here at ECN we thought you'd like to know more. So we interviewed Woz by email. Here is a transcript

Portable Power Does Yoga

August 14, 2007 9:33 am | Blogs | Comments

Productive Product: What happens when you combine carbon nanotubes and electrolytes, embedded in paper? You create a flexible battery which can be molded into any shape and even cut with scissors, according to faculty and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Biotechnology.

The Electric Stampede

August 10, 2007 6:56 am | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: Last week I wrote about energy harvesting; here is a new example. MIT researchers are studying ways to power anything from subway trains to rock concerts by capturing the power of simple movements -- in these two cases it's the movement of human feet -- and to borrow

Green U.

August 9, 2007 11:00 am | by Evan Koblentz, online editor | Blogs | Comments

Op-Ed: If the world’s industrial and information cultures are going Earth-friendly, then we’ll need a new generation of trained technical professionals to be leaders. Universities are catching on to this demand by offering a variety of courses devoted to clean technology. Here in ECN’s home state of New Jersey, three top-flight schools exemplify the trend – the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology.

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